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Hi,

Are the following sentences natural to a native ear?

1. I thought that he must have thought that Kate must be back from vacation on Saturday and must be at home. (I am saying this sentence on a Monday morning, describing what I thought on the Sunday).

2. It really stunk in the subway this morning. I guess, many people must have come to work without taking bath, because of the cold weather.

3. I thought he must have called you on Sunday to find out if you would be available to work on Monday.

Thanks,

MG
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Hi MG;

Are the following sentences natural to a native ear?

1. I thought that he must have thought that Kate must be back from vacation on Saturday and must be at home. (I am saying this sentence on a Monday morning, describing what I thought on the Sunday).
There is too much repetition: "must have" and "thought"
I thought he must have assumed that Kate, having returned home from vacation Saturday, must be at home.

2. It really stank in the subway this morning. I guess many people must have come to work without taking baths because of the cold weather.

3. I thought he must have called you on Sunday to find out if you would be available to work on Monday. ok
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Thanks AlpheccaStars.
AlpheccaStars1. I thought that he must have thought that Kate must be back from vacation on Saturday and must be at home. (I am saying this sentence on a Monday morning, describing what I thought on the Sunday). There is too much repetition: "must have" and "thought"I thought he must have assumed that Kate, having returned home from vacation Saturday, must be at home.
Even I felt that way. But I was not sure, how to express what I thought the other person might have thought. How do native speakers make the situation simple in such a case?

Also, are the following sentences interchangable?

4. He must have assumed that you must be back from vacation by Saturday.

5. He might have assumed that you would have been back from vacation by Saturday.

He assumed is fairly close in meaning to he thought in your example.
MusicgoldAlso, are the following sentences interchangable?
4. He must have assumed that you must be back from vacation by Saturday.
5. He might have assumed that you would have been back from vacation by Saturday.
No. Must have is not the same as might have in its degree of certainty.
Musicgold4. He must have assumed that you must be back from vacation by Saturday.
5. He might have assumed that you would have been back from vacation by Saturday.
Here's what I'd say. (The two are not the same, by the way.)

4. He must have assumed [you'd be / you were] back from vacation by Saturday.
5. He might have assumed [you'd be / you were] back from vacation by Saturday.

you'd be is nice and simple compared to you'd have been. I would certainly substitute the simple version in these.

[4. The only logical conclusion is that he assumed that ...
5. It is possible that he assumed that ... ]

CJ
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Thanks AlpheccaStars and CJ.
CalifJim.you'd be is nice and simple compared to you'd have been. I would certainly substitute the simple version in these
That is indeed a problem for me and many non-native speakers who started learning English with grammar books. We try to make our sentences as perfect as possible. Of course, there is nothing new here, it is a well known fact. Don't mind me, just lamenting.

Let me ask you this way. Would the native speaker ever need to have to use 'you would have been' in conversational English, or he can always get away with 'you would be'?

Thanks.
Musicgold just lamenting.
Anyone learning English is entitled to some lamenting once in a while! Emotion: smile
MusicgoldWould the native speaker ever need to have to use 'you would have been' in conversational English
Unfortunately, I suspect so. I believe there are times when "would have been" cannot be abbreviated as "would be". Sorry!

One case that immediately comes to mind is in contrafactual conditionals. In the following sentence, for example, "would have been" is required to show that I was not ready at 8 o'clock because I had not started at 5. "would be" cannot substitute.

If I had started at 5 in the morning, I would have been ready at 8.

CJ
Thanks CJ.
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